According to the year-long parliamentary inquiry conducted by the Australian state of New South Wales, koalas are in danger of going extinct before 2050 in the region. The report revealed that the species is seriously threatened by habitat loss, largely due to logging and clearing of forests. The bushfires earlier this year certainly didn’t help either, with about 24 percent of koala habitat on public land impacted.
“Given the scale of loss as a result of the fires to many significant local populations,” the report says, “the committee believes the koala will become extinct in New South Wales well before 2050 and that urgent government intervention is required to protect their habitat and address all other threats to their ongoing survival.”
The committee made 42 recommendations to the government, including the prioritization of protecting koala habitat corridors, improving monitoring methods, increasing funding for conservation groups, banning logging in old-growth forests, and incentivizing farmers who protect the land rather than clear it.
Chris Gambian, the chief executive of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, said, “We are pleased that there is a growing political consensus that koala extinction is a very real possibility if we don’t act urgently to protect koala habitat […] The plight of the species is the clearest argument that we must overhaul our environmental laws to reverse the trend.”